OBU will present its 81st annual Hanging of the Green Christmas program Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The community is invited to attend the free holiday celebration, titled “Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”
The first OBU Hanging of the Green ceremony was held in WMU Memorial Hall. After the singing of carols, representatives from all dormitories lit candles of good will and carried the light to their own houses. The custom of Hanging of the Green has continued, though it moved in 1945 to the newly completed Brittain Hall Library, in 1957 to the University Auditorium, and in 1961 to Raley Chapel.
The OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Jim Hansford, retired Burton H. Patterson professor of music and director of bands emeritus, will open the evening with “A Canadian Brass Christmas,” by Luther Henderson and Calvin Custer. OBU President Dr. David W. Whitlock will welcome the audience and lead the opening prayer. Later in the program, the orchestra will perform “A Christmas Portrait,” by Mark Hayes.
The University will then honor a group of outstanding seniors, nominated and voted upon by OBU faculty. These students, yet to be announced, will be recognized individually and will help perform the ceremonial hanging of the green.
The University Ringers, OBU’s handbell ensemble, will perform “Joy to the World.” The group is under the direction of Dr. Lee Hinson, professor of church music. The Shawnee Honor Choir, an auditioned group of outstanding third through seventh grade students within OBU’s Music Preparatory Department, will then perform selections from “Three Moravian Carols,” by Phyllis Tate. The group is under the direction of Dr. Patty Nelson, associate professor of music education.
Remaining performers include the Bisonette Glee Club, directed by Dr. James Vernon, professor of music; the Bison Glee Club, directed by Dr. Christopher Matthews, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts; and University Chorale, directed by Dr. Brent Ballweg, Burton H. Patterson professor of music and director of choral activities. The Bisonettes will perform “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” by Michael John Trotta, while the Bison Glee Club will sing “A King is Born,” by Tim Sarsany, with soloist Dr. Louima Lilite, associate professor of music. The University Chorale will perform “I Am Changed,” by Will Todd.
The combined choirs and orchestra will perform multiple pieces, including “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” by Dan Goeller; “Gloria,” by Antonio Vivaldi; and “How Great Our Joy,” arranged by Craig Courtney.